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Greens' childcare policy: $2.3b to help 800,000 Australian families



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MEDIA RELEASE

Tuesday, 27th August 2013

Greens’ childcare policy: $2.3b to help 800,000 Australian families

The Australian Greens have today released their plan to create world-class, affordable childcare easing the cost of living pressure on Australian families.

“Australian families have been calling out for genuine childcare reform and today the Greens have delivered it,” the Greens’ childcare spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“Streamlining support for families into one new payment per child and dramatically increasing overall funding will finally give mums and dads access to the care that they need.

“The crisis in childcare means fees are sky-rocketing and availability is dropping, especially in high-need areas. If Australian children are going to be cared for in centres with sufficient numbers of qualified staff, the government must commit to increasing support to the sector.

“Without increased funding to childcare, families won’t be able to have the high quality, affordable, flexible care that they need.

“The old parties haven’t come to the table with the funding that is needed to reach the National Quality Framework’s standards. The Greens’ commitment to funding the sector will help centres actually reach those targets.”

The Greens’ plan injects an extra $2.29 billion into childcare over the forward estimates, streamlining the existing Childcare Benefit and Childcare Rebate into one new payment to be paid directly to centres, reducing the weekly fees paid upfront by parents.

The policy would also improve support for families with babies and those in high-need areas. Providing an average increase in support of $27 per week, the Green’s plan would save the average Australian family around $1300 per year.

“800,000 families will be better off under the Greens’ scheme and those in the most need will have 90 per cent of their fees covered,” Senator Hanson-Young said.

“This funding would help to reduce fees for mums and dads while lifting the strain on a sector trying to employ large numbers of highly trained staff.

“Tony Abbott has no plan to ease the pressure on families and so far the Labor Party has been all talk and no action on childcare.

“The lack of support for affordable childcare from the old parties means there is a barrier stopping new mothers from returning to the workforce, but the Greens’ scheme will give parents the support they need.

“With a Paid Parental Leave policy that supports families and a childcare package that means care is affordable when mothers want to return to the workforce, the Greens are the only party standing up for young families in Australia.”

You can read more about the Greens’ childcare policy here: http://greens.org.au/childcare

Media Contact: Noah Schultz-Byard 0427 604 760